Illustration by Suzy Birmingham
She’s Regina George; you’re Cady Heron. She flirts with your new boy toy, she only talks about herself, or she’s just a magnetic to drama. Of all the complicated relationships we have today, the frenemy is a very specific one: Over her? Hate her? Used to love her? She pushes your buttons, but you can’t help giving her fake cheek kisses when you see her, just to keep things pleasant. Ohhhh, our child-like tendencies. While you may not walk away from this braiding each other’s hair, we owe it to ourselves to grow wiser or whatever. If you still have a frenemy in 2016, it’s time to move on, here’s how:
Listen To Her, and Check Yourself
Yes, you read that correctly…listen to her. Hear me out: a frenemy usually isn’t trying to sugar coat anything. If she has ever kinda, passive aggressively called you out on something…she might actually have a point. I know, you don’t want to eat humble pie. Are you always the “20 minutes late” girlfriend and she likes to comment on it? See this as your tough-love reminder that sometimes criticism can be motivating, make a mental note, and move on. Don’t harbor resentment.
Stop Calling Her A Fren*my
From now on, this word no longer exists in your vocab. The “-enemy” part of the word will play mind games on you. It will be a subconscious reminder of your resentment towards her. Switch gears, and train your mind to think positively. Call her your acquaintance. A home girl. A pizza slice. Or a home slice (do people still say home slice?).
Do Not Cyber Stalk
Pick up your phone (like, right now) and swiftly swipe until you’ve officially unfollowed her on all social media, or at least mute her from your newsfeed. In this social media-crazed world, we can make ourselves unhappy, and studies show that people today are more depressed. One of the leading reasons is that we are constantly comparing ourselves to others online. “Acquaintance” or not, who wouldn’t feel deflated when we see photo streams of fabulous vacations, engagement photos, and shoes we also wish we’d bought? (Keep in mind no one posts pictures of themselves when they are in the dumps.) So cut out all potential cases of FOMO, humble brags, and plain ole’ jealousy and pay attention to your own accomplishments. Do your own work and celebrate what you’re doing right–you’ll be glad you did. Which brings me to my next point….
Focus On Your Amazing Friends
Channel your energy into your current gal pals and make new friends. Use your “home girl” as a standard of things you don’t want in your trusted circle of friends. Then surround yourself with ladies who give you the friendship butterflies and inspire you in meaningful ways.
Talk It Out
It can be difficult to make yourself vulnerable to someone who has pissed you off. However if you start the conversation with, “I was surprised when you returned my dress with a hole in it.” Instead of, “I can’t believe you destroyed my dress!” See the difference? Pick your battles, if “home girl” continues to upset you, discern whether it’s a core personality trait or a one-off. If it’s a core personality thing, it’s unlike it will change. You have to decide if you are willing to accept the inherent differences between you. If not, it’s best to move on, whether it be to make new friends, limit your contact, or float away.
Tell us how you deal with your “You-Know-Who!”